Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: ONPS5198C

Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5183 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Gwen Macdonald

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4283

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to prepare routine samples and examine them using a light microscope, standard methods and readily available advice. Personnel are required to set up microscopes for optimum resolution and observe, identify and report sample characteristics. The unit covers limited interpretation and analysis of results. Troubleshooting of equipment and procedures is not required

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PMLTEST308A Perform microscopic examination


Interpret test requirements

Performance Criteria:

Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment involved

Identify hazards associated with the sample, preparation methods, reagents and equipment and implement enterprise control measures


Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

Ensure safety and minimise cross contamination through the use of personal protective clothing and safety equipment 

Handle all samples and equipment in accordance with enterprise safety protocols

Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to protect personnel, work area and environment 

Minimise generation of waste and environmental impacts


Observe, identify and report sample characteristics

Performance Criteria:

Recognise and identify significant sample characteristics

Perform required calculations accurately 

Prepare and view control samples and check that results are consistent with expected values

Identify and report 'out of specification' or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel 

Record and report data in accordance with enterprise procedures


Prepare samples for examination

Performance Criteria:

Log and label samples according to enterprise procedures to ensure traceability

Check suitability of the original and prepared sample for the examination and report unsuitable samples to appropriate personnel

Prepare and store the sample for examination following enterprise methods


Set up and use a light microscope

Performance Criteria:

Set up the light path to optimise resolution 

Select the appropriate objectives and filter for the sample being examined 

Ensure that the lenses are clean

Adjust settings and alignment of the light path to optimise performance 

Place sample correctly on the stage


Set up work area for preparation and examination of samples

Performance Criteria:

Collect equipment and reagents and arrange the workspace so that equipment can be used safely and efficiently 

Perform pre-use and safety checks to ensure equipment is fit for purpose and report faulty or unsafe equipment to appropriate personnel 

Check reagents are fit for purpose and report any items that require replacement

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Laboratory classes using light microscope and varied samples.Sample preparation for microscopy.Recording results of testing of all types.

Teaching Schedule

Schedule microscopy 2010- (date week beginning)
8.2.10 Introduction Set up procedure
Ergonomic safety/OHS Microscope allocation
Workbook outline
 15.2.10 Wet preps
Light characteristics
Cell types
Observation of yeasts
Drawing X100,X400
Request slip with labelled broth of sacchromyces
 22.2.10  Parts of microscope,
Types of microscopy
NATA Observation of plant cells, pond water
 Pond water labelled place, date
 1.3.10  Stains-comparison
Mechanisms of staining
Cell processes
 Simple stains of yeasts
Tabulate results of 3 stains
Saline wet prep observation-0.3%-1.2%
 8.3.10  Cell processes ctd
Specimen storage
Microscope trouble shooting
 Observation of animal blood cells- fixed specimens-draw (report 10%)
 15.3.09  Prac assessment-  competence/wet prep Set up wet prep on labelled sample according to industry procedure
 22.3.10  Making blood film-cells in blood- clinical,storage

 Preparing blood films

Romanowsky stain

Fixed smear observation

 8.4.10 Bacteria-clinical and staining characteristics
Fixing cells
Oil immersion theory Review class
 Gram stain on broth- centrifuged with request slip
Oil on fixed bacterial
 12.4.10 Test-Quiz 25% 
 19.4.10  Yeasts and other cells Counting chambers Neubauer
 26.4.10  Cell counts-blood and other applications  Automated methods comparison Calculation/control,errors worksheet (10%)
 3.5.10 Sections of tissue-histo clinical
 Mounting fixed specimens Observation of histo slides
Mounting smears of blood films made week 7

 Other types of microscopy
Fluorescence, phase


 Perl’s Stain with control
 17.5.10 Review
 Final workbook check
NATA requirements assignment (5%)
 24.5.10   Competence testing- oil immersion
 31.5.10  Assessment of competencies-final workbook submission next week (20%)*
 7.6.10 Theory test 2
30% 1hr
 14.6.10 Supplementary tests as granted  Students to be available this week





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Exam

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Tasks
Practical assessment- ongoing and individual tutorial/test at Wk 6 and 16,17    Competent/Not competent  (as on scedule and in class)
Theory Tests of underpinning knowledge 55% -see schedule for dates
Workbook submit week 17                           20%
Practical reports and assignments            25%

All assessment tasks must be passed to pass the subject

Submission of work & late work- Students are required to submit work on the due date at the School Office using the cover sheets provided. The work will be accepted through the School Office and you will receive a receipt which you should keep as proof of submission. Students must NOT submit work directly to the teacher.
Late submission of work will incur a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark per day unless Special Consideration is applied for in writing using the required form. Marks can be deducted until the minimum pass mark is reached, after which no further marks will be deducted. Work will not be accepted more than 1 week after the due date.
Special Consideration- Any student who, because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control, has been prevented from attending a test, or whose performance in a test was affected by illness or other circumstances beyond their control may apply for Special Consideration. This must be done within 48 hours of the missed assessment/ assignment by lodging the appropriate form (available at the 6th floor office) with medical certificate or other supporting documentation at the Reception Office on Level 6, Building 51. Note: It is the policy of the School of Life and Physical Sciences NOT to AUTOMATICALLY PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTARY OR DEFERRED EXAMS. You will be advised of the outcome of your application for Special Consideration. The taking of Annual Leave does NOT constitute grounds for special consideration.
Attendance Requirements- Student must attend 80% of practical classes to pass. Practical exercises will be chosen for presentation as formal reports. If they are not satisfactory, you will be given an opportunity to resubmit. If you are absent from a session nominated for a formal report and you have applied for special consideration, it is your responsibility to negotiate a replacement report with the teacher. You MUST submit the number of required reports in order to pass the subject.
Plagiarism- Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data and oral presentation. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.
It also occurs through enabling plagiarism, which is the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work. Please make sure you consider this carefully in completing all your work and assessments in this course and if you are unsure about whether you might have plagiarised, seek help from your teacher.

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview